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Risk free rate in Sharpe Ratio computation


I'm relatively new to quantitative trading and Quantopian, and was hoping someone could clarify:
(a) What is the risk-free rate used in Quantopian's computation of the Sharpe Ratio and can it be changed? (b) In case of global equities (for example, NSE India), is the general practice to use the bond yield of the local currency as the risk-free rate (RBI bonds in this case) or otherwise?


4 responses

Hi Ravi,

Welcome to Quantopian! We use the 10 year treasury rate as the risk-free rate to calculate the Sharpe Ratio. This rate can't be changed in the Quantopian IDE. The engine powering the backtester is called Zipline and it's entirely open-sourced. If you'd like to see all of the risk calculations, they're available on Github.

We have price data and recently added fundamental data to the platform. If you're curious about our data sources, you can read more in the help doc.


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Thanks, Alisa.

Hi Alisa. I would like to code the same Sharpe in my algo. Is there an API for this?

Hi Alisa -

I note your comment above:

We use the 10 year treasury rate as the risk-free rate to calculate the Sharpe Ratio

I'm confused. Recently, there was a lot of discussion around this topic on:

It was communicated that the risk-free rate is not incorporated into any Q Sharpe ratio computations. It seems it was, at some point, and then it was dropped? What's the story?